The “Short List” for 2011

I twooted this last night.

DA:O is definitely on my short list of games. Mass Effect series, Zelda, Starcraft, KOTOR … that’s pretty strict company.

So that got me thinking about what actually compiles my “short list” of video games. Granted, I do not do a lot of gaming anymore, but here is The “Short List” 2011.


Just some ground rules to start.

  1. series can be a single entry if the games are linked in some way (e.g. Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 NOT Final Fantasy 3/6 and Final Fantasy 9
  2. must include games I’ve played through completely at least once
  3. the list is not in order of preference because I’m terrible at ordering things like this
  4. the list is strictly my opinion and I will be changing that opinion over time

With that, let’s begin!

Mass Effect series

Bioware will come up again and again on this list, mainly because they know how to tell a really solid story and Mass Effect is no different. To say it is a “space opera” would be an understatement and the mix of shooter + role-playing elements make this an instant favorite for me.

I look forward to Mass Effect 3.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic series

Two games that finally fleshed out the Old Republic in a way that had never been done before. It was a refreshing take on the Star Trek universe that offered a great storyline and the ability to be a Jedi. How cool is that?

KOTOR 1 was the stronger of the two, with KOTOR 2 feeling a little unfinished but I put them both here because I enjoyed both of them.

Starcraft series

Even though over a decade separates the games, Starcraft is what I look for in a strategy game that I can pick up and play for fun. Fast-paced, good online support, and something you can still play today (in reference to Starcraft 1) even over a decade later.

Starcraft 2 is a worthy update and I can’t wait for the other stories to come out. Who doesn’t like playing as Jimmy Raynor?

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time/Majora’s Mask

I spent a sick week playing through OOT in grade school and it was amazing. The Zelda series is great, but these two games on the N64 were maybe two of the best because of how different they felt from each other.

MM was the darker of the two, but the more epic-feeling was OOT. I will always remember walking into Hyrule Field for the first time … it was glorious.

Final Fantasy 3/6

Kefka. Just the name makes me cringe. Along with maybe the craziest antagonist in video game history, the sheer number of awesome characters you get to play with makes the game all the more fun.

Couple the above with some of the best 16-bit gaming music and graphics and you have a truly iconic game. Final Fantasy 3, I salute you.

Final Fantasy 9

Lots of people will choose other Final Fantasy games, but 9 has stuck with me for a very long time. It harkened back to how I would imagine older FF games and just ran with it to create a feel-good story with great music, awesome atmosphere, and it pushed the Playstation to its limits.

I think the most underrated FF game in the entire series. I loved it.

Dragon Age: Origins

I didn’t know what to expect when I started, but I picked it up on a friend’s request (thanks Chris!). I’m not usually a Western-style fantasy RPG fan, but when I got started I was hooked. The world is expansive, the story is great (Bioware anyone?), the characters are fleshed-out, the music is top-notch and … well, you get the picture.

I have this as a standalone game at the moment because I have not been able to play Dragon Age II yet. I’m hoping to pick it up once the price drop, drastically.


So that’s the first installment of The “Short List” and I hope you enjoyed it. I will probably reevaluate the list semi-regularly in the future and post up any changes to it.

That’s it!

4 replies on “The “Short List” for 2011”

OK, I official know I am an older man now. Gaming on computers when I was Bob’s age and younger were simple and challenging, not much in the way of graphics and leisurely. Here is my list of computer games.

NetTrek – (Mac System 6 in my day)
Aztec – Video – (Apple ][e)
Star Trek in Integer BASIC – (written for HP/DEC minicomputers, the Apple ][ series)
There is nothing like seeing an asterisk as photon torpedo take out Klingon battle cruiser.
GATO – a great WWII submarine simulator. (Apple ][ series)
Sorry that gaming companies are all profit motivated and will not bring sub simulator to PS/3, etc…

Castle Wolfenstein was fun too, but the 3D version gave me vertigo running through the maze of castle walls.

So, its official. I am an older man who has lost his way in the high tech video gamescape of 2011.

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